According to a report by TuttoMercatoWeb (as relayed by Sport Witness), Atletico Madrid could be set to battle West Ham for the signing of Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic in the summer transfer window.
The Lowdown: Milenkovic important for Fiorentina
The 24-year-old was frequently linked with a move to the Hammers last summer, with David Moyes keen on bolstering his centre-back options.
While this was put on the backburner when the Serbia international penned a new deal with Fiorentina, unusually the renewal only came to the summer of 2023, making the move a possibility in this year’s summer transfer window.
Milenkovic has played an essential part in his team’s strong opening half to the Serie A campaign, having made 18 league appearances for sixth-placed Fiorentina as they remain on track for for European football. The defender leads the Viola squad for tackles, interceptions and clearances made per game, illustrating his importance to Fiorentina’s backline.
The Latest: Atletico Madrid could challenge Irons for Milenkovic
According to a report by TuttoMercatoWeb, Atletico could be interested in a summer move for Milenkovic and could be set to battle it out with the likes of West Ham, who are also said to be interested in the player.
Sport Witness claimed that “Milenkovic was ‘very close’ to signing for the Hammers in the summer, so the assumption is David Moyes’ side would be keen again, depending on what happens with their own defensive options.”
While TuttoMercatoWeb‘s report stated that ‘some Premier League clubs’ are ‘following him with particular interest’, the Irons were the only English side to be explicitly mentioned in the article, which may suggest that they are the likeliest to bring him to England’s top flight.
The Verdict: A tough battle for the Hammers
If Moyes does decide to pursue Milenkovic again in the summer, Atletico will not prove to be an easy competitor to overcome, with Champions League qualification a near-annual occurrence for the La Liga title holders.
However, due to the deal having been ‘very close’ before, it would not be a surprise if the 24-year-old were to reignite talks with the Hammers.
With interest also coming from Inter and AC Milan, West Ham can expect to face tough competition in their pursuit of the 24-year-old if they go all-in for him this summer.
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